Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Get the best of the past and the future with these intense full body blasting tools

In today's world  everything old is new again-retro fashion, paleo diets and now fitness. To help understand why some of these exercise techniques may be right for you, it's best to examine what and who they can benefit.
Each system has its roots in the fitness industry evolution, most are combinations of several systems. It seems some of the conventional wisdom we heard when we were young like "sit up straight" or "eat your vegetables" were actually time proven wisdom. Here's a picture of President Truman's gym; note the rings, medicine balls and gym mat. This was state of art at the time, but let's look at the rings and what that has come of it since then.
Simplicity..
TRX
Suspension training is nothing new, high school gymnasiums included climbing ropes and rings in simpler times. TRX is a regressed form of gymnastic training.  Bodyweight training is always functional (click here to learn more about functional training), since you have to control the weight you're using which trains your stabilizer muscles, allowing to avoid overuse and ballistic injuries. TRX also allows for some great stretching activities. Homefit.com does a great job putting together just a few of the stretching activities that can be performed.
Who's it good for? Suspension training is excellent for the beginner who cannot handle their full bodyweight in compound movements like the squat, push up and pull up.  As you get stronger (which should occur in the first 9-12 weeks) you continue to progress your training by moving foot or hand position into a more weight bearing position. TRX coerces  you to brace your core promoting "stiffness" and forces you to integrate your core in your basic movements.  
Low back pain patients would greatly benefit from this type of program after rehab that would include addressing  mobility and pain issues. This work out is a great example of a local muscle endurance "military" type work out. It builds capacity, allowing you to work harder for longer.  It's a great segue to a hypertrophy "bodybuilding" workout, since you should be able to perform compound movements correctly before you start adding weight to your moves.

TRX, the ultimate "road warrior" getting in shape and staying in shape takes consistency(read more about it here).  TRX is light  weights and supremely portable for the home gym or busy traveling professional. It comes with a door anchor that can be used virtually anywhere. 

Medicine and Smash Balls
We have been working with balls ever since cave man threw his first boulder at a saber tooth. Medicine ball training started with Persian wrestlers and later with ancient Greek healers. They got the name "medicine" balls because they served as functional correctives for people with injuries and sickness.  The point with tossing or smashing activities are to use your legs and core to develop the power in the toss.  Too many times athletes striking motion, be it kicking or throwing, are DETACHED from their core. This dynamic causes a "leak" in energy in the athletes kinetic chain (movement chain). An excellent example was mentioned in this post that mentioned MLB pro. pitcher Tim Lincecum
Who is it good for? Everyone could benefit from Medicine/Smash balls but high school, college and pro athletes have the most to gain. They can provide a local muscle endurance(military training) type work out or a plyometric type workout. Both types could be used for recovery, endurance or calorie burning. 
Working with balls you can enhance several different movement planes of the muscular system
One of the high level trainers I look up to Todd Durkin,  is training Darren Sproles here with smash balls in the diagonal plane lift.  Drew Brees is working out of the triple flexion position in the background.  Todd works with MLB pitchers and NFL athletes, he rarely trains just one movement plane,  and is one of the best trainers anywhere. 

Floor gliders have infinite variation
Floor Gliders/Ab Wheels
Ab wheels have been around for many years, they provide excellent core activation, and tie the core into pectoral and deltoid movements.  They also target some of our accessory stabilizers and promote functional stability. There's upper and lower limb variations such as this "mountain climber" variant.  This type of exercise it great to work in to a rehab protocol or a high intensity interval workout. From shoulder syndromes to weak lower back/cores, these simple yet effective tools are much harder than you would imagine.  The also burn a TON of calories given their nature( whole body activation).  
Core Flyte just released their V2 glider/stability trainer and they also have a variety of exercise routines on their website at everlast.com.  Here is a split squat with the trailing foot on V2 glider.
Who's it good for?  Again, everyone would benefit from some linkage from core to extremities.  These are also compact and light weight so the travelling athlete could make really great use of them for maintenance.  They can promote both scapular(shoulder blade) and lumbar(low back) stability, just where you need it the most!

By mixing in some of these tools your body will be stronger, more resilient and more stable.  The more you repeat your routine the less successful it will be.  Tune in next time when we discuss programming your exercise routing like the Pro's. 


 Today we provided principles, so you can adapt your own protocols, don't hesitate to contact us with questions. 
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Dr. Serafim is a Rehabilitation and a Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He lives and works in the Exton PA area and has devoted himself to furthering his understanding of movement related disorders. He teaches continuing education and operates a private practice. More information can be found at Kinetx.org and feel free to like us at our facebook page.


  

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